The United States and China have signed an historic first stage of a trade deal between the two nations.
After more than two years of brutal negotiations, which triggered financial market meltdowns and damaged business confidence around the world, US President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping put pen to paper on such a landmark deal, with further possible deals should stage two be signed.
“This is the biggest deal there is anywhere in the world, by far. And it can lead to a deal that is unprecedented,” Trump declared in Washington Wednesday local time.
Chinese Vice Premier Hiu Le read out a statement on behalf of Xi, attending the ceremony.
“It also shows that our two countries have the ability to act on… equality and mutual respect.”
“In the next step the two sides need to implement the agreement… and optimise the positive impact so as to make even greater progress in China- US economic cooperation,” Mr Xi’s letter stated.
“I hope the US side will treat fairly Chinese companies and their regular trade and investment activities.”
Mr Trump said he would be going to China in the “not too distant” future to “reciprocate” Wednesday’s signing.
The S&P 500 and the Dow Jones indexes set new record highs in early trading after a White House spokesperson said negotiations on a phase two deal would begin soon.
The Chinese market is also expected to open higher.